Are you a fan of the beautiful koi fish? Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a complete beginner to caring for koi fish, obtaining quality specimens from reputable sources can set you up for success. Every hobbyist wants fish that are healthy and beautiful while having a wide variety of koi types to choose from.
Thankfully, there are many good places to buy koi fish online. These online sellers give you the convenience and expanded options that come with online shopping while providing outstanding customer service that guarantees the safety of your fish and your peace of mind. Check out our top picks, listed below!
Is It Safe To Buy Koi Fish Online?
Before we dive into the best places to buy koi fish online, many people may have questions regarding the safety of doing so. This is a valid concern! Because buying fish online involves shipping live fish across vast distances to get them to their final destination, it is understandable to wonder if the fish would survive its journey.
Well, the good news is, most fish purchased from reliable sources arrive at their new owners’ homes safe and healthy. In fact, most ornamental fish in the US are imported from abroad, with many pet stores making bulk fish purchases from countries across Asia, Africa, and Central America. Shipping fish is perfectly safe as long as it is done in a responsible, ethical manner.
To ensure that your fish are handled responsibly throughout the shipping process, it is vital to opt for quality sellers with adequate experience and a proven track record of coordinating logistics effectively. The sources we’ve included in this list accomplish just that.
Best Places To Buy Koi Fish Online
1. Kodama Koi Farm
Founded in Japan over 50 years ago, Kodama Koi Farm is the largest distributor of Japanese Nishikigoi in the US. With a farm located in Hawaii, Kodama Koi Farm is strategically located close to Japan, which makes it possible for the family to source its fish from over 60 specialized breeders located all over Japan.
As a testament to their ability to identify and source champion fish, Kodama Koi Farm has produced multiple winners in the prestigious All Japan Koi Shows. They are also members of several Japanese Nishigigoi organizations, making a name for themselves as a reputable purveyor of champion and show-grade fish.
The adage “You get what you pay for” rings true here. Kodama Koi Farm’s fish are truly some of the finest in the world but can cost up to $16,000. For die-hard enthusiasts, however, the privilege of owning these rare, beautiful fish can be worth the premium.
As is often the case with retailers offering premium products, Kodama Fish Farm makes significant efforts to provide all buyers with a bespoke customer service experience and even has in-person outlets located in New York, New Jersey, and Florida to cater to the needs of individuals who prefer an in-person shopping experience.
2. Kloubec Koi Farm
Originally established as a family farm specializing in game fish, Kloubec Koi Farm pivoted into producing beautiful koi fish when the son of the owners developed a passion for them. This labor of love eventually blossomed into an 80-acre farm featuring over 55 mud ponds terraced into the hills of Eastern Iowa, creating the perfect environment for raising champion koi.
All fish from the Kloubec Fish Farm are raised domestically, which eliminates the risk of outside contamination. They also regularly enlist the help of veterinarians from the University of Iowa to test their stock, to make sure that their fish are healthy and disease-free.
The good husbandry techniques used by Kloubec Koi Farm make them an excellent pick for premium quality koi.
Kloubec Koi Farm has made a name for itself as the go-to spot for champion koi raised with the finest husbandry techniques. The farm even produces show-grade koi capable of rivaling those imported from Japan, which comes as no surprise as their fish are, after all, bred from the finest Japanese stock.
Because of the lengths the Kloubec family has taken to produce the best possible koi, buyers should be prepared to pay between $60 to $2000 per fish. These price points are significantly steeper compared to what one would find at a big box store, but these fish truly are the cream of the crop.
3. Koi Market
With more types of koi available for sale than any other dealer on the East Coast, Koi Market takes pride in the fact that it offers koi in all sizes and budget ranges for sale on its site. The professionals behind Koi Market pride themselves on being true-blue enthusiasts who will not only sell kois to their buyers but also maintain their ponds for them.
Their expertise in the hobby is backed up by the extensive variety of pond supplies and koi feed available in their online store. From fish medication to aquatic plants and pond pumps, this truly is a one-stop-shop for all your koi-related needs.
For us, the unique selling point of the koi market lies in the fact that specializes in pond maintenance and construction. Their impressive portfolio of projects demonstrates their expertise in creating pond setups that are practical yet aesthetically pleasing.
In addition, the Koi market also offers a diverse range of mid-priced koi for sale. Their fish tend to hover around the $1000 mark, making their selection a solid choice for hobbyists who are interested in premium fish but aren’t prepared to invest in show-grade fish.
4. Blackwater Creek Koi Farms
Though koi fish originated in Japan, Blackwater Creek Koi Farms proves that it is completely possible to raise premium-quality koi domestically and eliminate all biosecurity risks. This Florida-based farm closed its doors to imported koi close to 20 years ago, opting instead to breed their own fish with input from the founders’ Japanese koi mentors.
In the interest of transparency, the farm tests its stock for SVC (Spring Viraemia of Carp) twice a year, and makes all its test results available online. The farm prides itself on being bio secured, government monitored, and tested.
Being located in Central Florida has its perks – Blackwater Creek is capable of producing quality fish at reasonable prices due to their 11-month growing season. From the entry-level peanuts to the super rare “Wow fish,” Blackwater Creek has something for everyone!
5. Next Day Koi
It takes a considerable amount of confidence to name a store “Next Day Koi,” but that’s precisely what the professionals behind this online koi store have done. True to their name, these industry experts are highly adept at getting your fish to you, safe and sound, within the next day.
Not only do they offer an extensive selection of koi for enthusiasts of every level, they also stock koi feed and probiotics to give your fish exactly what it needs to thrive. Next-Day Koi prides itself on sourcing koi from two of the top sources in the industry, Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery and Hazorea Aquatics.
In terms of live arrival guarantees, Next Day Koi offers one of the most generous policies around with a 14-day worry-free guarantee. This alleviates many of the concerns customers may have about transporting live fish.
We appreciate Next Day Koi’s transparency in disclosing the source of their fish. This allows buyers to do their research on the hatcheries and learn about their husbandry techniques, giving them some peace of mind. For instance, learning about Hazorea’s bio-security procedures is a great way for buyers to alleviate their fears about any prospective diseases.
Next-Day Koi also leverages the scale of their operations to secure favorable shipping rates for their customers, which we think is a highly thoughtful yet practical gesture. A big barrier to purchasing fish online is the steep shipping costs involved in transporting fish to its final destination as quickly as possible, and we love that they’ve made an effort to address this issue.
All things considered, Next Day Koi is a thoughtfully managed fish store that puts the customer experience first. They do an excellent job of providing a stress-free shopping experience, making them a top choice for online koi.
6. Amazon.com: Live Koi For Ponds
Would any list of online sources for live koi fish be complete without this e-commerce mainstay? Amazon is a reliable go-to source for anything you can think of, and koi fish are no different. While Amazon does not sell fish directly, they provide a listing of fish farms and suppliers that will sell and ship the fish to their buyers.
Amazon’s extensive listing of sellers gives you plenty of options, but it also means that you’ll need to vet your sellers carefully. The reviews section is a good place to start and will give you a good idea of the track record and reliability of the seller.
Shopping on Amazon is a perfect option if you enjoy being spoilt for choice. With thousands of different sellers to choose from, you’re bound to find something that meets your preferences, needs, and budget.
Unfortunately, the main issue with shopping on Amazon is the high degree of variability in product quality. For many years, buyers have taken issue with Amazon’s refusal to take responsibility on the defective products sold by third-party vendors. Thankfully, they’ve since reversed their stance with the A-Z guarantee, which pledges to protect their customers regardless of who the sellers may be.
If you’re fond of having tons of options and are willing to do your homework before making a purchase, Amazon’s a solid platform for you.
7. Petco: Live Koi Fish For Sale
We would be remiss if we left one of the largest big-box stores in the US out of our list! Petco offers live pet koi fish for sale, and also offers a decent variety of pond supplies and fish feed to keep your fish happy.
The fact that Petco has many retail locations means that customers with a preference for in-person service can simply walk into their local outlet to pick up their supplies, or speak to an employee for information or guidance. With a 30-day live arrival guarantee, Petco also provides one of the best refund policies in the industry.
Petco’s Koi fish starts at $10.99, making them a good choice for beginners who are looking for entry-level koi fish that won’t break the bank. Though these fish come at low prices, they are Grade A-certified, which sets a reasonable standard for the quality of fish buyers can expect.
A quick look at their butterfly koi reviews page reveals highly satisfied buyers, who were pleased with the active, healthy, and vibrant fish they received, each with their own unique flair and personalities.
Buying Koi Fish Online: Dos and Don’ts
If this is your first time buying koi-shopping online, it can feel like a daunting and overwhelming experience. Make sure you’re on the right track by sticking to our list of dos and don’ts!
Do: Decorate With A Variety Of Freshwater Plants
Not only do aquatic plants reduce nitrates, adding aquatic plants to your koi pond can improve the conditions of your koi’s habitat by introducing additional oxygen to the pond. Fish need oxygen for optimal well-being and growth!
In addition, submerged plants provide a spot for female kois to lay their eggs. Kois enjoy laying their eggs in vegetation such as water hyacinths and water lettuce. Floating plants also play an important role in keeping your pond shaded and cool in the summer.
By incorporating a variety of submerged and floating plants into your koi’s pond decor, you create a habitat that’s both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Check out this article for ideas on best pond plants for koi fish.
Do: Research Extensively
The great thing about caring for koi fish is that they have relatively straightforward needs. These fish are resilient, not picky with their food, and have easy-going personalities. However, they have highly specific needs when it comes to their water and habitat.
Doing your research can guide you in your efforts to provide the best possible living conditions for your fish. If you’re looking for some educational books to get you started, here’s a reading list containing the best koi books of 2021.
Do: Feed Kois With Breed-Specific Fish Food
Although kois are known for their voracious appetites and will be perfectly content with anything they can sink their teeth into, feeding them with good quality, breed-specific food will do wonders their their health, making them more lively and less prone to illnesses.
Good quality food can also improve the appearance of your fish, as it can enhance the colors of your fish and allow them to grow to their maximum potential. This makes quality food an appealing option for seasoned enthusiasts, especially as kois are prized for their bright colors, distinctive patterns, and unique body shapes.
Don’t: Forget To Monitor Your Water Temperature
Koi fish are incredibly resilient and can adapt to a wide range of temperatures, but it remains essential for you to monitor your water temperature so that you can feed your fish an appropriate amount of food.
These cold-blooded fish are incapable of regulating their own body temperature, which means that their metabolic rates will fluctuate in line with water temperature changes. This is especially important to note in the winter, because it is easy to overfeed kois when their metabolic rates slow down dramatically.
To learn more about how much to feed your koi, check out this article. You can also opt for food that’s specifically formulated for kois to consume in colder weather, such as the Blackwater Premium Koi & Goldfish Cool Season Diet.
Don’t: Buy From Bad Sellers
While you might be able to find many sellers advertising koi for sale on the internet, not all of them are trustworthy. It is vital to do your research because bad sellers can end up selling you fish that are unhealthy, poorly-bred, or provide substandard customer service that makes buying koi a challenging experience for you.
Though many bad sellers present themselves as budget options for koi enthusiasts, we’ve found that it is often worth paying a premium for quality sellers who breed healthy stock and provide their fish with excellent care during shipping.
Don’t: Opt For Cheap Koi Fish
There’s a difference between fairly-priced, healthy fish vs. cheap fish that were farmed in sub-optimal conditions. Unfortunately, many cheap kois fall in the latter category, with farmers opting for poor husbandry techniques such as cramming too many fish into a tiny space, providing inadequate nutrition, and neglecting the general welfare of the fish.
Kois that are farmed under these non-ideal conditions is more likely to have health problems, weakened immune systems, and carry diseases. For both the welfare of your fish and the health of your pond, it is absolutely vital for hobbyists to only purchase fish from reputable breeders.
What Is The Difference Between Koi and Goldfish?
Both koi and goldfish are part of the carp family, and it can be very difficult to tell them apart. In fact, some varieties of premium goldfish, such as the Tamasaba Goldfish, even feature body colorations that resemble those of high-quality koi. However, there are several ways to tell between the two.
The most distinctive difference between goldfish and koi is that the latter has barbels or “whiskers” near its mouth. In addition, goldfish come in wide range of body shapes, as opposed to the long bodied koi. Visually, however, the koi usually stands out compared to the goldfish as it comes in a greater variety of colors and patterns.
What’s The Minimum Pond Size For Koi Fish?
Kois need a lot of space because they are large, messy, and do best when they are kept in schools. Most people recommend providing a 250-gallon pond that’s at least 3 feet deep, as this will allow you to house up to 2 koi fish.
We personally think that the ideal setup involves a 750-gallon pond – this allows you to keep between 3-5 koi fish, which will give these social fish lots of company and fun!
What Other Aquatic Animals Can Be Kept With Koi?
Kois are known for being social animals with lots of personalities, but they are also charming and non-aggressive. This means that they are compatible with a wide variety of pond mates – ranging from fish to snails.
Some of our top recommendations include:
- Hi-Banded Chinese Shark
- Apple Snail
- Golden Tench
- Trapdoor Snails
- Common Goldfish
These pond mates were selected because they thrive in the same water parameters koi fish enjoy, and possess similar non-aggressive personalities. Many of them are also algae eaters and bottom feeders and will help keep your pond clean.
Doesn’t koi-shopping seem like such a fun and rewarding experience? Many online fish stores are committed to bringing their customers the best possible experience and genuinely care about selling healthy, quality fish at reasonable prices. We’ve done our best to put a list of our favorite sellers together, and we hope you’ve found it useful!
Do you know someone who’s thinking of buying koi fish online? Send them a link to this article, and let them know that they can reach out to us with any comments or questions! And if you’ve ever purchased kois from online sources, we’d love to hear from you! Did we miss anything? Was this a good list? Let us know in the comments section below!